Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I have been interested in combining textiles and circuitry.  I love both apparel and technology passionately and often let one interest slide in favor of the other.  I remember sometime in the late 90's while working at adidas, a manufacturer came in with a melton and leather letterman's jacket with a giant LED and embroidery eagle on the back.  It was not the most tasteful execution of the intersection of technology and garment, but it did get some gears rolling in my brain.

A few years ago a former colleague connected me to Jennifer Darmour of Electric Foxy and I collaborated with her on this project:
I did all the garment designing, pattern making, and prototyping and some material sourcing.  Jennifer did all the circuit designing and stitching of conductive thread and fitting on the model.  She used the Lilypad system by Arduino which is designed for garments and is washable.  You can buy the Lilypad and Arduino systems and other components at SparkFun.  Which is what I did!  I bought the Lilypad Design Kit:

The packaging alone is swoon-worthy!  And the lid closes with a magnet too!  This is clearly a message that it is time to get going on learning this technology.

The next sign was the announcement on Howard Rheingold's Twitter feed of a HOMAGO Geekout on using this very kit!  There are four separate links in the previous sentence that will take you to all the answers.

The Geekout was presented through Google Hangouts-on-Air.  There were nine of us in the class plus Howard and Angela from Spark Fun who explained the contents of the kit and led us through a simple project.  Here we are in process of the Geekout:

And the final project!

... lit up with 3 LED's.  No short circuiting and everything works.

I even got out the meter to check resistance on the conductive thread and a few other things.  This project focused on creating the circuit properly to achieve lit LED's.  There are other ways to do this same thing with all the hardware and stitching hidden.


Angela Sheehan said...

Looks great! Glad you could join us for the Build a Long.

Lori said...

Thank you, Angela! I hope to attend more build alongs.